The proximity of Santiago to the Andes ensures snow is visible year-round, though its accessibility obviously varies with the season. In winter months, the Chilean central valley gets more rain than the rest of the year, but usually the snow is restricted to the mountains. Before today, I had yet to see snow (or even frost) outside of the Andes.

A small set of overlapping climatic elements coincided in the dawn hour to turn the Santiago rain into a short, fluffy snow fall. Though it has been cool in town lately, the ground was still warm and no snow stuck inside town, but most roofs and some cars had enough snow accumulation to be obvious from above.

But—like all things—it was not to last. After depositing some snow, the clouds quickly broke up and sunshine began illuminating the snow. And even more quickly than it appeared, the snow vanished from north and east-facing surfaces. Then it was not long before the snow began a quick retreat up the nearby hills.